More to be desired are they than gold - This is strictly true; but who believes it? By most men gold is preferred both to God and his judgments; and they will barter every heavenly portion for gold and silver!
Sweeter also than honey - To those whose mental taste is rectified, who have a spiritual discernment.
Honey-comb - Honey is sweet; but honey just out of the comb has a sweetness, richness and flavour, far beyond what it has after it becomes exposed to the air. Only those who have eaten of honey from the comb can feel the force of the psalmist's comparison: it is better than gold, yea, than fine gold in the greatest quantity; it is sweeter than honey, yea, than honey from the comb.
More to be desired are they than gold - That is, his law; or, as in the preceding verse, his judgments. They are more valuable than gold; they are of such a nature that the soul should more desire to be in possession of them than to be in possession of gold, and should value them more. The psalmist here and in the following verses describes his estimate of the worth of revealed truth as he perceived it. In the previous verses he had shown its value in the abstract; he here speaks of his own feelings in regard to it, and shows that he esteems it more than he did the objects most prized and valued among men.
Yea, than much fine gold - The word used here - פז pâz - means properly that which is purified or pure, and thus becomes an epithet of gold, particularly of gold that is purified. It is rendered fine gold here, as in Psalm 119:127; Proverbs 8:19; Isaiah 13:12; Lamentations 4:2; and pure gold in Psalm 21:3. The word does not occur elsewhere. Gold is an article of principal value among men; and the object here is to show that to a pious mind the revealed truth of God is esteemed to be the most valuable of all things - a treasure above all which men can accumulate, and all which men can prize. Every truly pious heart will respond to the sentiment expressed here.
Sweeter also than honey - Honey, the sweetest of all substances, and regarded as an article of luxury, or as most grateful to the taste. It entered largely into the food of the inhabitants of Palestine, as it does now in Switzerland and in some parts of Africa. The idea is that the truth of God, as revealed, is more grateful to the heart, or affords more pleasure to the soul, than that which is esteemed as the highest luxury to the palate. The meaning is, that it is loved; it is pleasant; it is agreeable; it is not regarded merely as necessary, and admitted to the soul because it is needful, as medicine is, but it is received into the soul because it is delighted in, or is more agreeable and pleasant than the most luscious article of food is to the taste. To this, also, the heart of every one who “has tasted the good word of God” will respond.
And the honeycomb - Margin, dropping of honeycombs. So the Hebrew. The allusion is to honey that drops from the combs, and therefore the most pure honey. That which is pressed from the combs will have almost inevitably a mixture of bee-bread and of the combs themselves. That which naturally flows from the comb will be pure.
The struggle that David went through, every other follower of Christ must go through. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. The controversy is being waged in full view of the heavenly universe, and angels stand ready to lift up for God's hard pressed soldiers a standard against the enemy, and to put into their lips songs of victory and rejoicing (Manuscript 38, 1905). 3BC 1143.1
5. All Paths Are Beset With Peril—You need not be surprised if everything in the journey heavenward is not pleasant. There is no use in looking to our own defects. Looking unto Jesus, the darkness passes away, and the true light shineth. Go forth daily, expressing the prayer of David, “Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” All the paths of life are beset with peril, but we are safe if we follow where the Master leads the way, trusting the One whose voice we hear saying, “Follow Me.” “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Let your heart repose in His love. We need sanctification, soul, body, and spirit. This we must seek for (NL No. 11, p. 2). 3BC 1143.2Read in context »
When the Spirit of God reveals to man the full meaning of the law, a change takes place in his heart. The faithful portrayal of his true state by the prophet Nathan made David acquainted with his own sins, and aided him in putting them away. He accepted the counsel meekly, and humbled himself before God. “The law of the Lord,” he said, “is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:7-14). 1SM 212.1
Paul's testimony of the law is: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin [the sin is in the man, not in the law]? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me” (Romans 7:7-11). 1SM 212.2Read in context »
“Labor not for the meat which perisheth,” Christ admonished, “but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed.” John 6:27. When we obey these words, we shall rightly understand the teachings of the Scriptures, and esteem the truth as the most valuable treasure with which to store the mind. We shall have within us a wellspring of the water of life. We shall pray, as did the psalmist, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law;” and we shall find, as he did, that “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 119:18; 19:9-11. CT 31.1
It is only life that can beget life. He alone has life who is connected with the Source of life, and only such can be a channel of life. In order that the teacher may accomplish the object of his work, he should be a living embodiment of truth, a living channel through which wisdom and life may flow. A pure life, the result of sound principles and right habits, should therefore be regarded as his most essential qualification. CT 31.2Read in context »
Then we shall rightly understand the teaching of God's word, and esteem the truth as the most valuable treasure with which to store the mind. We shall have a constant wellspring of the waters of life. We shall pray as did the psalmist, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law,” and shall find as he did that “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.”—The Review and Herald, November 24, 1891. FE 185.1
The schools established among us are matters of grave responsibility; for important interests are involved. In a special manner our schools are a spectacle unto angels and to men. A knowledge of science of all kinds is power, and it is in the purpose of God that advanced science shall be taught in our schools as a preparation for the work that is to precede the closing scenes of earth's history. The truth is to go to the remotest bounds of the earth, through agents trained for the work. But while the knowledge of science is a power, the knowledge which Jesus in person came to impart to the world was the knowledge of the gospel. The light of truth was to flash its bright rays into the uttermost parts of the earth, and the acceptance or rejection of the message of God involved the eternal destiny of souls. FE 186.1Read in context »